The legendary C-47 Gooney Bird has flown in many guises during her long and venerable career. This was a very special, highly classified role for the
"Grand Old Lady".
Electric Goon is the nickname given to a series of C-47s filled with special equipment that conducted Top Secret Electronic Warfare operations during
the Vietnam War. They were the C-47D, EC-47N, EC-47P, and EC-47Q. One of the classified elements of Electric Goon operations was that 2 separate crews
Electric Goon operational bases and units, '68-'69.
Air Base site, Back-end Crew, Front-end Crew, Aircraft tail
Tan Son Nhut; HQ 6994th; 360th *TEWS; AJ
Nha Trang; Det 1, 6994th; 361st TEWS; AL
Pleiku; Det 2, 6994th; 362nd TEWS; AN
*Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron
The Front-end Crew:
AC (Aircraft Commander)
They wore colorful unit patches on their flight suits. They strutted their stuff.
The Back-end Crew
AMC/Analyst (Airborne Mission Supervisor,) 202
X--RDF operator (Radio Direction Finding), 292
Y--Morse Intercept, 292
Z-1--Voice Intercept, 203 (me)
Z-2--Morse Intercept, 292
We were FORBIDDEN to wear ANY patches on our flight suits. We were hush-hush and misterioso. We worked for the NSA.
We called the front-enders "the bus drivers". It was their mission to get the back-enders where we needed to be to accomplish OUR mission, which was
classified ABOVE their level of clearance.
Seriously, we worked as a team. The front-end crew, Operations staff and aircraft ground crews; and the back-end crews, Operations staff and
Bravo-maintenance. Each unit involved in Electric Goon operations has a highly-decorated and distinguished history.
My 50 year old memories are jogged and refreshed by my Air Force flight records, the declassified history of the 6994th available on the Angelo State
University website (search ASU 6994th), personal unit records, and my valuable copy of the 1999 book by James C. Wheeler, RIP, "The EC-47 Experience"
(Amazon lists 1 used copy for $375)
Front-end crews took the Continental Airlines tagline "The Proud Bird with the Golden Tail" and turned it into "The old bird with the red ass". Their
artists designed an apropos unit badge "Antique Airlines" easily searchable.
To all those who flew in the Electric Goon but didn't come home. (See you soon, brothers)
edit on 11-11-2019 by exNSA20371 because: (no reason given)